This incident blew my mind
Right after Diwali, Vidur vegans coughing. Took him to his doctor, who diagnosed the condition to be bad.
I asked him if it was due to the Diwali pollution
“Are you joking? This time there was no Diwali! It felt like a day of mourning because of no crackers”
Intrigued, I probed further
“It really felt like mourning to you?”
“Of course – like the Chirag-e-dilli day of mourning”
“Ummmm, sorry, what? Chirag Dilli mourning?”
“Do you know where chirag dilli gets it name from?”
His clinic is in Chirag Dilli, a colony in south Delhi
“No, doc. I don’t”
“Some Mughal ruler (he mentions a name that I can’t remember now and am pretty sure wasn’t Mughal) ordered all Hindu men to be converted.
When they resisted, he lined all of those who resisted, strapped with horse with swords, and rode the horse towards one of Delhi’s gates, chopping their heads as he rode. That gate is now called Khooni Darwaaza for the same reason.
That Diwali, every household has someone dead. And it felt like the darkest day ever.
Until a destitute woman rose up and said there is no way that Diwali in Dilli will be this dead.
So she lit a chirag, and she did it right here. Which is why Chirag Dilli”
Now, I will admit – I set his evident bigotry aside for a moment and was just fascinated by the story.
How names and traditions and habits are formed – is storytelling that enamors me.
I left the clinic, proceeding to Vidur’s piano class
While waiting, as the class went on, I couldn’t take my mind off the story. I wanted to know more
So I started browsing on Chirag Dilli
It wasn’t just a lie that I was told
I was told a lie by a person convinced he isn’t lying
Which isn’t a matter of ignorance, education or exposure
It’s a matter of belief
Fake news isn’t online
Fake news is everyone
And it rides on the wheels of our belief